February Layout Party? I cheated...

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by Gary S., Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    I got an early start and have substantially completed the wooden portion of my benchwork! Next is the backdrop, then the foam will be glued to the plywood.

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  2. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    In total, there is 75 linear feet along the walls.

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  3. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    I had mentioned on The Gauge a few months ago that I was doing a two level layout with helix... when I got started, it quickly occurred to me that for my first layout, I better keep it simple and straight-forward. I am very pleased with my decision and am happy with the progress.

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  4. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    There will be a removable bridge section in front of the door. The entire layout is built of 8 foot long modules, some are 24" wide and some are 19" wide, and a couple of oddball sections to pass in front of the doors. The modules will be bolted together on the ends and left to float free on the shelf brackets.

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  5. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Next project is to paint the backdrop... now, to keep it simple, I am going to just use the walls as the backdrop. There is some light "orange peel" texture on it, not sure how it will look as a backdrop, but I'm gonna give it a shot. If it looks terrible, I can always add a smooth backdrop over the wall. Maybe a heavily clouded sky will camoflage the texture?

    wish me luck!
  6. ausien

    ausien Active Member

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    Theres no door rize for the first one through the door, Gary, but nice work just the same.

    We may have to deduct 5 points for the early startsign1 Good luck with the camoflage idea:thumb: so i guess its full steam ahead for you from now on...train97
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    I may have to update my proposed February layout party goals.

    Hmmm.... those pics are showing some deficiencies in my lighting, bad shadows on the walls.
  8. jkristia

    jkristia Member

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    Looks very nice.

    I was checking shelve brackets the other day at Home Depot, and I noticed they have some 20" brackets, which looks strong and sturdy, is that the one you have used?

    I really like the idea of using those brackets for the part of the layout that is along the wall, it clears up the floor space underneath. And what you have looks great, so I will probably do the same once I get ready to work on the layout.

    Jesper
  9. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

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    sign1 sign1 When I get home from my "9 to 5" I'll post the Official start to Teh gauge Layout Party :) :)

    Great so far... Gary!!!!!
  10. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Jesper, I will take some photos of the brackets tonight so you can see which ones I am using. They are the "double" type brackets, very strong, but unfortunately also expensive.

    They come in several sizes, 6", 9", 11.5", 14", 18", and 24" at my Home Depot. The 18" brackets are around $5 each, the 24" ones are around $7. The bracket track which attaches to the wall is not all that cheap either. Still, I am happy with the set-up, I feel the ease of installation was worth the cost.

    One issue with the 18 inch and 24 inch brackets is that they have a built in slope up from back to front. There are several ways to overcome this, something we were discussing a couple months ago here at The Gauge. One way to level the benchwork woud be to put a "leveling nut and bolt" on the bracket. Another option is to file down the lower portion of the bracket where it goes against the track, I did this for about one fourth of the brackets until I found a quicker solution. What I ended up doing was simply putting my weight on the front of the bracket and carefully pulling down in tiny increments until the bracket is level. What this does is slightly bend the track. If you go too far, the track can be bent back out with a screw-driver. One thing though, the track has to be very securely attached to the studs in the wall to use this method of leveling. I used 3" coarse thread drywall screws, 4 per track. I drilled extra holes in the tracks where needed, mostly right at the very top where the bracket attaches.

    This method is crude, but it is effective. Perhaps the filing method is the best though.
  11. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Thank you! I'm off to get foam and paint and some electrical supplies.....
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    If you put a hinge on the inside corner on the side of the door above the light switch, you could make a swing in gate that would fold back against the layout to allow access to the room.
  13. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Here are some close-ups of the brackets as promised:

    I cut each vertical track off in the middle of the slots so the benchwork would sit against the wall. Also I drilled an extra hole right at the top so I could put a 3" screw into the stud. Having the screw at the very top is necessary to use the "pull down on it" leveling technique.

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  14. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Here's a pic of how I leveled the brackets. Pull down a tad on the front, check with level, repeat until the bracket is level. The front of the bracket will be about 1/4 inch too high to start with. Pulling down on it (requires pretty much all your weight) will slightly bend the track towards the wall, letting the front of the bracket go down. With the length of the bracket, the track does not have to bend much. Now, if you go too far, you can take a large screwdriver and place the blade in the track holes and pry the track back out and try again. To be honest, this all worked surprisingly well and was easy, much quicket than filing the lower part of the bracket.

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  15. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Another pic showing how the bracket is higher than the track, allowing the benchwork to go against the wall, in other words, the track doesn't stick up above the benchwork. Now, I have seen where some leave the track running up the wall above the benchwork and mount the backdrop to the track. I'm going to use the wall as the backdrop (for better or for worse).

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  16. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    And a pic showing the benchwork sitting on the brackets

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  17. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Hey Russ:

    Thaks for your idea, I am considering doing the hinge thing. My original thought was to use a couple pieces of metal "unistrut" as benchwork to span the gap, and to route some notches into the ends of the benchwork for a tight fit. The unistrut would basically drop into place from the top.
  18. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    Oh and hooray! I found a place down here that sells 2" thick foam.

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  19. jkristia

    jkristia Member

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    Gary,

    Thank you for the pictures. What is the size of your 'benchwork' frame, it looks like it might be 3/4 x 1 1/2" plywwod with maybe a 1/4" sheet on top?

    Jesper
  20. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

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    You are exactly correct. The "benchwork" consists of 1/4 birch plywood as the top, with framing members made of 3/4 inch birch plywood cut into 1.75 inch strips. MasonJar here at The Gauge suggested cutting plywood into strips rather than buying 1x2 lumber. The plywood is actually stronger and less likely to warp over time, plus it was actually cheaper to cut up the plywood than to buy a bunch of quality grade 1x2s.

    I cut the plywood into 2" strips using a straightedge and circular saw, then ran them through my rather smallish tablesaw to make them all the same dimensions.

    I haven't added the crossbracing under the 1/4 plywood yet, will do that after I determine the location of my turn-outs, I plan to use Tortoise switch machines. After the cross bracing is added, I will give the wood a good coating of paint to protect it from humidity.

    On top of the 1/4 plywood, I will glue the 2" blue foam. This should result in a strong but lightweight "module-type" section. I'll bolt the section ends together with 1/4 inch bolts and nuts and washers.

    It won't be truely modular, but I could unbolt the sections and move them if the need arises.

    Gary